Craft Category: Handmade Textile

Craft Location: Maheshwar

Specialization: Maheshwari Silk & cotton handloom textile with dobby design

Name of Artisan: Joheb Ansari

Contact No: 8109758119


Address: Ahilya Vihar, Fort, Maheshwar

Joheb lives in the beautiful quaint lanes of Ahilya Vihar Colony in Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh. He is 24 years old, the youngest weaver and the sixth generation to continue the tradition of handloom weaving in the family.

His grandfather had an agricultural farm. But he also used to make turbans for the royal families in earlier times. He used to sell them in Maheshwar and as well as Indore. After the abolishment of the Holkar dynasty, the whole business of turbans came to a halt. Joheb’s grandfather also met an accident once, while traveling to Indore. After recovering from that, he stopped making turbans. By then Joheb’s father was ready to work.

His father worked on job as the master weaver at Rehwa Society for ten years. And then he started out his own venture with a few hand looms set up at his home.

Growing up in an environment with always the clack-clack of looms around, Joheb developed an interest for weaving. He has been learning it from his father since he was 12 years old. After coming back from school, he would just sit on the loom for the sake of entertainment and that is how he slowly and slowly became good at the skill.

He studied till the 10th grade and realised that he values the skill of weaving more for himself. So he did not continue the traditional formal education but instead decided to completely get into the handloom business.

It is also out of his passion and love for handloom fabric. He loves its texture and feel. He says, “it is good for skin and comfortable to wear in all seasons”.

In 2009, a friend introduced him to a business focused training happening at WomenWeave. He joined that program and was trained in design, textile technology, marketing/advertisement, computer, social media and sustainability. This boosted his confidence to grow his father’s handloom business to even greater heights. And he did so. He expanded the weaving handlooms and hired seven people to work for him as he went ahead on his entrepreneurial journey. Proving his leadership skills, he inspired many of his friends who were involved in other labour work and carpentry work to come and join the handloom weaving. This shows, how keen he is on spreading the culture of appreciating the real craftsmanship of the clothing people wears.

He has also worked on very challenging projects which involved reviving of 50 year old traditional craft forms. After many trials, he became successful at that. This is simply out of his love and passion for the beautiful luxury that handloom brings to the modern time we live in.

His major interest lies in working on Denting. He specialises in working with Mulberry silk, cotton and wool. He loves working with designers as he feels that in that process he gets the freedom to experiment different techniques and come up with some totally new weaves. His eyes are always in search for new design inspirations from his surroundings. He makes his own designs and also customises as per the client’s needs.

Currently he gets access to market through social foundations, NGO’s and social media. He uploads the pictures of new designs on Facebook and clients reach out directly. He has also established a small shop named BUGDI LOOMS near Kashi Vishwanath temple in Maheshwar to generate some more business.

His dream is to open a weaving unit with 15 looms in a nearby village, Karoli, which is 12 kms far from Maheshwar. He believes this will help the local weavers in that village to get a stable source of income. Currently there are 12 weavers in that village and only 4 are able to come to Maheshwar to work and the rest 8 are having to only be involved in farming activities. So this step would help them diversify their sources of income. He thinks, this will also inspire other men and women in that village to join the handloom weaving profession.